A Short History of Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Malone is a musical gangster comedy film, released in 1976, and written and directed by Alan Parker. It’s unusual in that it features only child actors in essentially adult roles, with early appearances from Jodie Foster (who’d been acting since she was 3) and Scott Baio. The film tells the story of the rise of “Bugsy Malone” and the battle for power between “Fat Sam” and “Dandy Dan”.

Parker said, of his movie idea: “I had four young children and we used to go to a cottage in Derbyshire at weekends. On the long, boring car journey up there, I started telling them the story of a gangster called Bugsy Malone. They’d ask me questions and I’d make up answers, based on my memories of watching old movie reruns as a kid.” His eldest son suggested children should be cast as the “heroes”.

Set in New York City, it is a gangster movie spoof, substituting “Splurge” guns and whipped cream for machine guns and bullets. The story is loosely based on events in New York and Chicago during Prohibition era, specifically the exploits of real-life gangsters such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Parker lightened the subject matter considerably for the children’s market and the film received a G rating in the U.S. It went on to be exulted by critics and nominated for multiple BAFTAs and Golden Globes.

It’s always interesting to see what happened to the cast, especially when it’s made up of younger actors. Jodie Foster, of course, went on to great things and is still acting and directing today. Here’s an article about the others.

Don’t miss our own production of Bugsy Malone.

VENUE:  The Turner Centre

DATES:  24th – 28th October

Click here for more information and ticket sales.


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